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DIY Roman Shades

You’ve heard me talk about how gross the last tenants were in our current rental.  It was pure nastiness up in here when we took over.  One of the things they left, were filthy window coverings – broken mini blinds, and spaghetti sauce all over some other blinds.

Truly lovely people.

The mini blinds behind our kitchen sink were broken, and nasty.  I’ve tried fixing them, and cleaning them, but there was no rescuing these things.

That is where these instructions from Little Green Notebook came in.  I took the mini blinds from this:


To this, in an evening.  New Years Eve was a wild and crazy night in my house, let me tell you!

To the left, you’ll see my awesome knife bar I got for Christmas.  to the bottom, you’ll see the lovely backsplash Troy put in for $100 before we moved in.  to the right, you’ll see the crazy duck towel holder my mom installed and I used to make fun of constantly when I was younger.  I freaking love how kitschy it is now.

An up close shot of the fabric.

I couldn’t love this fabric any more if I tried.  I wanted to something fun, bright, busy, and patterned so that if we splashed it with water or something while washing dishes, it wouldn’t be super obvious.

I used Liquid Stitch from the fabric store.  I also covered the back with the same fabric, so that it looks like a plain curtain from the outside when the shades are down.  After years of having to look at the ass side of broken blinds, I figure I owed our neighbors a pretty view!

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32 comments on “DIY Roman Shades”

  1. I LOVE that fabric! I just love how the print looks and I think it has lovely shades! I do have to agree with you that the blinds just looked really sad. Good thing that you were able to express your creative side and made them have a much happier appearance. 
    Greg Arnett

  2. I’ve seen a lot of posts with people using the old metal blinds to make roman blinds with – is there a way to do DIY roman blinds without the old blind?

  3. I’m loving the print, Sarah! It looks so retro with the pattern you chose! The blinds from the past tenants was disgusting. Ha-ha! But, you made it look that nothing ever like that happened. By the way, where did you get that lovely fabric?

    • Everything from the past tenants were disgusting. Just a gross family all around.

      The fabric is from Joanns! It’s just regular cotton, something like $7.99 a yard. I of course had a 40% off coupon.

  4. Great work Sarah! I looovvve your fabric choice.

  5. So, yea… you forgot to mention where you got this super cool idea. Even if I don’t remember sending it to you.

  6. Sarah, These are gorgeous. This is the kind of kitchen where I want to pull up a chair and sit down with a warm drink and chat with you. In fact, after reading your blog for a while, any kitchen would work. We’d laugh!
    Christine S-P

  7. thanks for the disgusting before pics! lol

  8. thanks for the disgusting before pics! lol

  9. I love this idea, and I already have pulled out my materials to see where to start!

  10. Sometimes I think we were separated at birth. I have had that same tutorial bookmarked for years (that’s right, I said bookmarked – pre-pinterest! – aka days of yore). Looks fab. Well done. Fabric and duck head rock.

  11. Ok, so stupid question, but did you just basically put the blind inside a sleeping bag?? I love the idea! I have an old house and some seriously crappy blinds.

    I sometimes need things spelled out for me in moron though. 🙂

    • I followed the tutorial that I linked step by step. Then I “went rogue” on the back. Basically, I made a little seam by folding the fabric over, and gluing to the top. Then, I made a seam and glued it along the sides as well. It’s kind of like a sleeping back, but each side (front and back) are glued individually.

      If I had to do it over again, I’d glue the slats to the back piece as well.

  12. I love these!!! I wish that I saw this before I got rid of my IKEA blinds for custom made blinds for a fortune. I do love my blinds but I could have made them exactly like yours and not had to worry about getting rid of the old blinds in the basement!!! I am totally going to tell everyone that I know with mini-blinds (that hates them). Thanks!!!

    • I don’t know anyone with mini blinds that actually loves them! ;-D

      We have some horrid rust colored ones downstairs that I’m going to tackle soon.

  13. very nice! and great idea….mini blinds have such short lives – hate to throw them out just to buy more cheap ones that break again!

  14. Could you please take and post more pics of what you did at the top and how you covered the back. Thanks

    • Well, everything is kinda glued down already, so it would be hard to show photos of it. I can take a photo of the sides this weekend. It’s too dark these days when I’m at home in the morning and night.

    • Thanks… I was just wanting a close-up of the top so I can see how you arranged it and glued it down. And I was very interested in a pic of the back/sides.. I followed the link and went to website instructions.. So I got the general idea of folding the fabric around from the front to the back.. but I was curious how it looks with your backing fabic on. And wanted to see from the photo how you arranged it. Btw.. I loved the shade. You did an awesome job.. thanks for posting. I am fowarding this idea to my cousin 🙂

      I’m glad we are on the down hill to more light 🙂 I keep telling myself with every passing day it is staying lighter longer.

    • I didn’t close the bottom of the blinds yet (fabric) because I wanted to “train” the fabric for a bit. So, I can give you a nice “upskirt” shot of the insides. HA!

      Yes, praise god, on the light. I think we’re adding 1 minute a day or something like that? Hardly seems fair because in the fall we lose it at 3 minutes per day, but oh well. It’s light enough to garden at 9:30 in July, so I try to remember the flip side of winter.

  15. Holy crap! Now THIS is something that I needed to know! What a great idea! I have loads of miniblinds all over the house and I HATE them but I’m too poor to replace them and too incompetent to sew curtains. I will definitely do this and I finally found your pin button so it’s going on my board. Thank you for posting this! Love your fabric by the way and I am totally jealous of your knife bar.

  16. I am so excited that these turned out for you! I have the same instructions pinned and just waiting to get to a fabric store to try to make these in a black out variety for my daughter’s new room! After looking at yours though, I may not stop in that room!